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CPBL, players could benefit from attending Asian Games

Taiwan has always been one of the world's baseball powerhouses.

However, one of the major obstacles that prevents the nation's pastime from shining on the world stage has always come from within the country: the infighting between two local groups, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA, 中華棒協) and the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL, 中華職棒).

The two organizations have been fighting for years over leadership roles and authority in Taiwan baseball.

We witnessed another example of this last week when the CPBL announced its decision to prevent its players from joining the national team at the upcoming Asian Games to be held in September in Incheon, South Korea.

The main reason for both sides' failure to reach an agreement was because the league differed in its views about the importance of the Asian Games with the Sports Administration and the CTBA, which is responsible for forming the national squad

While the government unit and the CTBA consider the Asian Games a first-tier international competition for which the nation needs to form the strongest team, the CPBL, however, sees it as a second-tier competition and does not feel the need to send players to support the national team.

Also, the CPBL believes its players need more guarantees from the government if professional players are to join the Asian Games. Specifically, the government has failed to meet the demands of the CPBL in asking for a better insurance policy for its players should they get injured during major international competitions.

However, not all CPBL players will be exempt from joining the national squad in the Asian Games. A total of nine professional players who are doing their military service by playing in the CPBL are subject to the draft, the CTBA said.

The China Post believes it is reasonable for the CPBL to refuse to send its players to the Asian Games.

After all, almost all participating national teams have decided to send amateur players to the upcoming South Korean competition, except for the home team.

Moreover, the games are to be held from late September to early October, a time period that falls on the scheduled CPBL season when four teams are expected to go head to head to fight for a playoff spot.

Many professional players have also had bad experiences working with the CTBA when the organization formed national baseball teams for international events in the past.

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